CASH-strapped Fresh Radio struggled to pay its wage bill last month.

It is believed staff at the Skipton-based station were due to receive their salaries on August 31 and were poised to walk out before they finally received their money earlier this week.

Laser Broadcasting took over the management control of Fresh earlier this year but has yet to purchase the station, which has not generated a profit since it was created as Yorkshire Dales Radio 10 years ago.

Its total losses in that period are estimated to be around £1 million.

Nigel Reeve, chief executive of Laser Broadcasting, said: "In May of this year, Laser Broadcasting announced that it had agreed to purchase 100 per cent of Fresh Radio, subject to final approval of the shareholders, with Laser taking management control of Fresh with immediate effect.

"In the meantime it was agreed that Fresh Radio would continue to honour all liabilities, with a commitment that Laser would provide financial support where necessary while the deal was being completed.

"Negotiations continued until early August with little progress, notwithstanding the fact that Laser Broadcasting has so far invested close to £80,000 into Fresh Radio to ensure the continued wellbeing of the station. This investment has been made in good faith by Laser Broadcasting Ltd.

"Discussions have since resumed and Laser Broadcasting again agreed to cover the salaries and other necessary costs which regrettably resulted in a delay, but have now all been paid.

"The formal offer to shareholders is expected to be issued on Friday September 14."

Dave Parkin, Fresh Radio chairman, said he did not want to comment on the situation, but added that staff had been paid and had continued to show up to work during a difficult time for the station.

The radio station was named Yorkshire and The North East Radio Station of the Year in the Radio Academy's "Nations and Regions Award" for 2006.

It is also converting its coverage from AM to FM band, with Richmond and Ilkley already on stream, but no date has yet been announced for Skipton.

Laser Broadcasting was formed in 2002 and has a strategy centred on developing a series of radio station purchases and investments.

Its other radio stations include Quay West Radio in West Somerset and Sunshine Radio in Ludlow and South Shropshire.